EPA Vows to Push for Greater Science Transparency in New Year

Dec 21, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it will be pushing for a final version of its rule placing restrictions on scientific studies that can be used to justify regulations. This scientific transparency rule has been discussed at the EPA since previous Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure. If the rule is passed, it stipulates that the EPA can only use scientific studies that are reproducible, with all data made public.

In a discussion with publication The Hill, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler explained the agency’s support for the rule, noting the strong emphasis the rule puts on greater transparency. “I fundamentally believe that the more information that we put out as an agency, the better our decisions will be and the more confidence the public will have in what we’re doing,” he said.

“And I think if we’re going forward with a regulation, particularly a major regulation, we need to tell the American public, what are we using for basis? How did we decide what we’re deciding? We need to put that information out there.”

This renewed vigor for the rule comes as a surprise to some. Earlier this year, the White House Office of Management and Budget listed the proposal as a “long-term” action that wouldn’t be finalized before 2020 at the latest, leading many to believe that this rule was not a priority for the EPA.

The rule is already seeing backlash from many that contend it would do more harm than good. In a recent statement, former California Congressman, and current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued that “Not only would this rule limit the kinds of facts and science EPA can consider in rulemaking, it would cripple EPA’s ability to fully assess the public health impact of its decision.”

To view the rule in its current form, click here: https://www.epa.gov/osa/strengthening-transparency-regulatory-science

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